The United States Congress is to consider another proposed mandate for a study of cryptocurrency, this time centering around the area of sex trafficking.
The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee is set to introduce a new bill, that, if passed and signed into law, would then require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to start research on the impact of virtual currencies and online markets and how they can be used to facilitate sex or drug trafficking.
In a memorandum penned June 11th, US Congressman Juan Vargas reportedly wrote the Fight Illicit Network and Detect (FIND) Trafficking Act. This act is aimed at improving the capability of Federal law enforcement agencies to impede the use of cryptocurrencies in facilitating sex and drug trafficking.
This is not the first time a bill has been introduced during the Trump Administration that specifically targets illegal online sex trafficking. Back in February of this year, a controversial bill package called FOSTA-SESTA was passed by US Congress, effectively banning online forums from posting adverts from sex workers.
For people in the regulated adult entertainment industry, cryptocurrencies are starting to play a larger role as a method of payment. Several sex workers have not only started using bitcoin as a transactional currency but also as a secure store of value, a way to hold their retirement savings.
Meanwhile, several companies such as Vice Industry Tokens (VIT), a firm that issues cryptocurrency aimed at the adult entertainment market, have gained ground, even developing business partnerships with such companies as Playboy TV and recently, HoloGirlsVR, a provider of virtual reality adult content.
The passing of the FOSTA-SESTA bill, however, puts platforms like VIT at risk of violating laws if the platform’s content or its users promote paid sex activities in any way, shape or form.
The impact of the study being proposed in the bill will be heavily dependent on the outcome report to be submitted a year after the enactment of the bill to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.